Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes (Raw Vegan)

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homemade sun dried tomatoes dehydrator or oven Sun dried tomatoes are one of my favorite ingredients. I just love the rich intense tomato flavor, and it’s raw vegan on its own. They are a staple pantry item in our household. It would be very hard to make any kind of tomato based raw vegan Italian food without them, as they add the rich slow cooked tomato flavor. But did you know that sun dried tomatoes are actually quite easy to make at home? They taste much better than the store bought kind to. Some store bought sun dried tomatoes also contain sulfur dioxide as an additive to keep the color. When you make it yourself, all you need is tomatoes and salt. That’s it. Besides, nothing compares to the ones straight out of the dehydrator. I have to restrain myself from eating most of them in the name of “taste test.”

Before we get into the instructions, I want to quickly go over choosing the right tomatoes. Sun dried tomatoes are generally made with ripe Roma tomatoes. However, you can you use different varieties of tomatoes if it’s hard for you to get the Roma’s. Try to find tomatoes with a thick skin, just like the people that can take lots of verbal abuse! If the tomatoes you are using have a lot of seeds, remove them to speed up the the drying process.

If you own a dehydrator, here is what you do. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise, and deseed if needed. If you are using Roma tomatoes, they tend to have lesser seeds so you don’t have to take them out. Again, for speeds sake, it will speed up the drying process. Place the tomatoes cut side up onto the mesh dehydrator sheet, spaced evenly. Sprinkle salt on the tomatoes surfaces and place it in the dehydrator. Dry at 115℉ (46℃) for about 48 hours, rotating the tray a few times so they dry evenly.

homemade sun dried tomatoes If you don’t own a dehydrator, you can use the oven, though they won’t be raw. (Sacrilege, I know!) Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature setting it has. Prepare the tomatoes exactly the same way you do when using the dehydrator, but this time line them up on the baking sheet. Pop it in the oven and leave the door cracked open a little. Let it dry for about 2 days. Flip the tomatoes every few hours so it dries evenly. Turn the oven off at night before you sleep for safety reasons.

homemade sun dried tomatoes Touch them to see if they feel moist at all. If they are, you aren’t done yet so continue drying. They should feel dry all around when you touch it. Be careful not to leave any moisture in as it can result in mold later on. When the tomatoes are leathery but still soft and pliable like dried fruits, they are done!

Voila! Super easy. Sure it takes some time, but if you have a bunch of tomatoes laying around, it’s a perfect way to use them up. Oh, did I mention these keep for 6 months? Another reason why it’s a great pantry item. So next time you have a big harvest in your backyard veggie patch, or when you buy up all the last minute tomatoes at the farmers market before they close, or even when the tomatoes are on sale, why not make homemade sun dried tomatoes?

homemade sun dried tomatoes

 

Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes (Raw Vegan)
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: raw food, raw vegan, gluten-free
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs Roma tomatoes (or other tomatoes with thick skin)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
Dehydrator method:
  1. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise in half, and deseed it if you are using a variety with a lot of seeds. If you are using Roma tomatoes, they tend to have lesser seeds so you don't have to take them out. You can if you want to speed up the drying process.
  2. Line the tomatoes cut side up onto the mesh dehydrator sheet, spacing it out evenly.
  3. Sprinkle salt on each tomato surface.
  4. Dry at 115℉ (46℃) for about 48 hours, rotating the tray a few times so they dry evenly.
  5. Touch and feel if the tomatoes feels moist at all. If they are, they aren't done so continue drying until it feels dry all around when you touch it. If you leave moisture in, it'll result in mold later on. When the tomatoes are leathery but still soft and pliable like dried fruits, they are done.

Oven method (not raw):
  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature setting you have on your oven.
  2. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise in half, and deseed it if you are using a variety with a lot of seeds. If you are using roma tomatoes, they tend to have lesser seeds so you don't have to take it out. But you could if you want to speed up the drying process.
  3. Line the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet, spacing it out evenly.
  4. Sprinkle salt on each tomato surface.
  5. Pop it in the oven and leave the door cracked open just a little. Let it dry for about 48 hours. Flip the tomatoes every few hours so it dries evenly. Turn the oven off at night before you sleep for safety reasons.
  6. Touch and feel if the tomatoes feels moist at all. If they are, they aren't done so continue drying until it feels dry all around when you touch it. If you leave moisture in, it'll result in mold later on. When the tomatoes are leathery but still soft and pliable like dried fruits, they are done.
Notes
Store in an air-tight container or ziplock bag and store it in a dark cool place. Keeps for 6 months. If the sun dried tomatoes become hard while storing, soak it in water before use.

You can sprinkle the tomatoes with some herbs of your choice, but I like to keep it simple with just salt so it can be used versatile to use.

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